1862 · [np
The poem is a contemporary copy of the last five stanzas of "Right Must Prevail" by H. Rebel. Other titles for the poem are "God Will Repay" and "Fiat Justitia". "Fiat Justitia" has only a slight difference in wording. See, Right Must Prevail, American Song Sheets Library of Congress Rare Books and Special Collections.
"Be yours the place of honor! Yours the crowning!
Yours is the Leader's right,--
Who, where those wave-dashed dungeons walls are frowning,
Have fought the noblest fight!
"There with the shield the constitution granted,
Wallis defends our Cause,
And good "King George," the fearless and undaunted,
Resists a tyrants laws.
"There Scott has shewn us how, with faith unswerving,
E'en bondage may be borne;
How Roman firmness, patient undeserving,
Can never be uptorn!
"There Brown, and Gordon, and a host of heroes,
Steadfast uphold their aim:
Whilst perjured Seward, last and worst of Nero's,
Sets all the world aflame.
"Dear Maryland! thy Children will not shame thee,
Nor aid thy feet to fall:
Let those who question, dare to blame thee,
Fort Warren answers all!
--- A Rebel -----"
President Lincoln and Secretary of State Seward tried to scrub Maryland clean of Copperheads after a Baltimore mob attacked Massachusetts troops headed for Washington; the City Fathers burned railroad bridges north from Maryland; and its secession-minded legislature convened.
S. Teackle Wallis, a talented lawyer, was one of the arrestees; so were Baltimore's police marshal, George Proctor Kane; and mayor George William Brown. These were doubtless the "Wallis," "King George," and "Brown" lauded in the poem. "Gordon" is Josiah Gordon, a pro-secession Maryland delegate from Allegheny County. The Gordon family papers are held at the Clements Library. "Scott" is Otho Scott, a Democrat and State Senator, appointed a Commissioner to protest the Lincoln Administration's treatment of Maryland like a "conquered province." [10 Maryland Historical Magazine 381 (1915)]. All were imprisoned for periods of six months to more than a year at Forts Warren, McHenry, and Lafayette. (Inventory #: 36095)